Presentation to follow.
The Sub-Committee received a presentation from NHS England and NHS Improvement representatives which provided an update on the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre Review.
Officers outlined the presentation, focusing on the following key points:
· Of the number of patients the hospital received over the past three years, Harrow CCG made up 9% of patients received, with 1,080 individual patients in 2019/20.
· Independent advice was received on what could be improved at the site, they had found that there was a lack of intensive care, a lack of co-located acute support, an increased number of co-morbidities and that there were complex arrangements with many other trusts.
· The programme board considered feedback from independent reviews as well as patient and staff feedback and ultimately supported the recommendation from the Independent Clinical Group for a new single site cancer centre on an acute site alongside access to chemotherapy as well as consideration of radiotherapy.
· It was noted that only one acute site fully met the essential criteria for a new site.
· Harrow represented 22% of the feedback received from the patient and public engagement that had taken place.
The representative concluded by outlining ongoing work and what had been planned for the next steps, this included:
· That the development of options for the Watford General Hospital site was to be continued, improved access to chemotherapy with a possible location being Hillingdon Hospital as well as networked radiotherapy.
· The transfer of the management of services to University College Hospital London was a recommendation as it was noted that this should be overseen by a specialist cancer hospital.
· That improvements were to continue to be carried out at Mount Vernon.
· Capital funding discussions are to be continued and that public consultation would not take place until funding had been secured.
· Patient and public engagement to be continued.
Members raised a number of questions which were responded to by the representatives as follows:
· The staff engagement had taken place throughout the process alongside the patient and public engagement. This was done through a number of ways such as meetings, surveys as well as organised sessions.
· Redundancies were unlikely due to current vacancies and moving the service could aid in staff retention. Moving the clinical team as a whole was the goal.
· There was a requirement to study data gathered on the low uptake of radiotherapy by Harrow residents to allow for a greater understanding as to why this was the case. This would help further improve cancer outcomes for Harrow residents.
· The benefits and disadvantages of this move were being explored in an inequalities impact assessment had been planned to be carried out by Public Health England for the move to the Watford site. This had allowed an opportunity to mitigate those changes.
· There would be enough space for equipment to be transferred to the new site, communication had been ongoing regarding the build and ultimately subjected to consultations and funding.
· Networked radiotherapy was at a stage where location, sizing and functionality of a satellite radiotherapy service would need to be assessed.
· The Paul Strickland scanner centre and the Linda Jackson centre were critical services and were included in future plans.
· The future of Mount Vernon site was being discussed with Hillingdon Hospital, who own the land for the site.
· The Harrow specific events uncovered a positive response but there was concern over how far away the new site might be from Harrow residents. Harrow participants were generally in favour of the Watford option and understood the need for the move.
The Sub-Committee thanked the NHS England and NHS Improvement representatives for their presentation.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted.